Chelsea top of Premier League table … for record £75m spend on agents

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Moisés Caicedo;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Moisés Caicedo</a> is among the players signed by <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Chelsea;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Chelsea</a> during the year in question.</span><span>Photograph: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC/Getty Images</span>

Premier League clubs spent more than £400m on agents in the year to February 2024, with Chelsea handing over a record £75m to players’ representatives.

Figures released by the Football Association show that Premier League clubs paid £409m to intermediaries from 1 February 2023 to 1 February 2024, which includes the past two transfer windows.

Chelsea were the biggest spenders, their outlay covering 71 transactions. Manchester City’s total of £60.6m for the year placed them second in the all-time table. Manchester United (£34m) and Liverpool (£31.5m) also feature in the all-time top 10.

Chelsea £75.1m

Manchester City £60.6m

Manchester United £34.1m

Liverpool £31.5m

Arsenal £24.8m

Aston Villa £21.2m

Tottenham £19.7m

Newcastle £18.9m

Bournemouth £16m

West Ham £13.9m 

Wolves £13.4m

Nottingham Forest £13.1m

Fulham £12.1m

Brighton £11.4m

Crystal Palace £11.1m

Everton £10.6m

Brentford £8.1m

Burnley £6.9m 

Sheffield United £5.1m

Luton £2m

The eye-opening figures reveal a sharp rise year on year, with £318m spent on agents by the league’s 20 clubs in 2022-23.

In the Championship, the total fees incurred by all 24 clubs amounted to less than Chelsea’s total, but the growth was even more stark, with a 2022-23 total of £36m nearly doubling to £61m. Leeds United were the biggest spenders in the division, at £13m across 35 transactions.

The news comes at a time where clubs are under increased scrutiny for excessive spending, both by fans and through the Premier League’s and EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR). This week Everton received a further two-point sanction for breaching the PSR limits on financial losses. Three days later the league agreed to introduce rules that would cap spending on player-related costs at 70% of revenue for clubs in European competition.

A majority of top-flight clubs have confirmed that they will be increasing the cost of season tickets for next season. Last month Chelsea supporters wrote to the club expressing “significant concerns regarding ticket pricing”, while City fans unveiled a banner protesting against price rises before the champions’ recent Premier League fixture against Arsenal.

The increase in agent fees reflects the successful pushback by players’ representatives against new Fifa rules intended to curb such spending. Last November an FA tribunal found that certain elements of the Fifa Football Agent Regulations (FFAR) were incompatible with British competition law. One key element to have fallen foul of the tribunal’s assessment, it is understood, was the proposal that agent fees should be capped at $10m when acting on behalf of a selling club.